Monday, 29 December 2014

World Junior Championships: Canada 8, Slovakia 0

Thoughts after watching the game unassiduously:

-Martin Reway was fairly invisible. Sure, he didn’t have a lot of help, his team was being swamped, but where was the fire, the passion, the temper that we hear about? It was incumbent on him to set an example, to lead his team, and I’m not sure I saw that, he played down to their level.

-Good to see that Team Canada went with skill rather than a ‘third line’ and grinders and heart-and-soul guys. No more Sutter hockey.

-Frédéric Gauthier is unimpressive, sticks out like a sore thumb. Big, but ungainly. Made sense that he was demoted to the 13th forward slot, and that his line started to click once he was taken off it.

-Samuel Morin seemed a giveaway machine, a lot of his passes were to Laveuglette, or straight to an opponent. His mobility is fine, just needs to add some stick skills I guess.

-Max Domi was a little punk the last game I saw, I think the exhibition against the Swedes, when he tried to blindside Jacob de la Rose but got the worst of it and then faked an injury on the ice. When it didn’t take, he went to the bench but jawed and threatened the Swedish bench. Add in a giant tomahawk of a slash to the top of an opponent’s shoulder (!), and a four-letter profanity that echoed through the rink, and I thought the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Tonight though, you have to give him his due, you can kind of see what the fuss is all about. He’s wearing the right colour jersey, so I’ll cheer him on for now.

-Zach Fucale got the shutout, was lucky on the shot that hit the shaft of his stick, and there were a couple of scrambles. You need luck to blank the opposition I guess. The encouraging thing was that he didn’t flub shots with his glove hand like the last game he played, when pucks would clang out of his glove for unforgivable rebounds. Tonight every shot that he could glove was handled cleanly. Way to go kid.

-I’ll be interested to see what the boys think of Jake Virtanen. Very impressive kid. Maybe the Canucks get another kick at the Cam Neely can, and this time they don’t trade him to Boston for a damaged-goods former star they’re looking to unload.

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